She’s the Queen

I’m going to break my self-imposed protocol and cover an EP today. I’ve already touched on half of the songs on She’s the Queen in my write up for Silver. The rest of the songs on the EP cover the same ground as what we’ve already seen on Silver and I’m sure we are all ready to move on. The themes of the lyrics fall in line with what we have already seen but beyond pointing out that our dominant girl now has a title (she’s the “queen”), there’s not much else for me add here. But I could not skip She’s the Queen altogether as it has so much significance for me and remains one of my favorites. Plus, it’s been an excuse for me to listen to the EP all day in preparation and that is good enough for me.

She’s the Queen was the first sf59 album I got my hands on. Back in ’95, my mom took me on a day trip to Knoxville, TN. We would take this trip annually on the third weekend of April for the purposes of looking at all the dogwoods in bloom. While on this trek, we stopped at a Christian bookstore on Kingston Pike on the west end of the city. This place was made for the hardened traditional church crowd. It carried an assortment choir robes, packaged communion supplies and biblical tracts that looked like cheap Watchtower knockoffs, all ready to order in bulk. There was literally nothing to interest me while my mom was ruminating over some obscure book she was looking for.

To kill time I rummaged through a large cardboard box of clearance items filled mostly with accompaniment tapes ordered by some well-meaning choir soloist but never purchased. Amidst the tapes of “How Great Thou Art” and “Come Thou Fount”, I found She’s the Queen for $0.50. I was something I could actually afford with my budget at the time so I bought it and listened to it on my Walkman the rest of the day. Now this album always reminds me of springtime road trips.

It’s funny how you can find exactly what you need in the places you least expect it. I would likely never have bought a sf59 album at full price. I knew them from I Predict a Clone and liked them but not enough to spend $10 on them. Even if I did have a financial windfall that would have allowed me to purchase either Gold or Silver, if I had started it out with those albums it is unlikely that I would have continued to follow them because there wasn’t much variation in style on those albums. I would have gotten bored with it. I get restless if I stay with any particular musical genre too long.

She’s the Queen had so much variation in the ways the songs sounded. Since that was my first substantial entry into JM’s work, I was well-equipped for JM’s stylistic changes over the years. I knew that I could expect the unexpected with sf59 and that was enough for me to buy my way into the experience at full price from then on. She’s the Queen was exactly what I needed when I needed it and I got it all for $0.50 at a store that had absolutely nothing to interest me. That’s how the universe works sometimes, bitches, and thank God it does.

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